European Parliament Resolution on Cultural Heritage

On 8th of September 2015, the European Parliament adopted with a large majority (613 votes in favour, 70 against and 19 abstentions) a Resolution in answer to the Commission Communication ‘towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe’ (2014/2149(INI)).

The report represents an unprecedented tool to convince the political authorities of the importance of cultural heritage. It is in line with the interests and values of the European Heritage Heads Forum. First of all, it reaffirms the need for an integrated approach:

“2. Believes that, with regard to the cultural heritage, an integrated approach is necessary if one wishes to achieve cultural dialogue and mutual understanding; is convinced that such an approach can lead to enhanced social, economic and territorial cohesion, while also contributing to the fulfilment of the goals set in the Europe 2020 strategy;” (p. 6)

Second, it calls for better access to funding thanks to the set-up of an EU portal dedicated to heritage:

“7. Asks the Commission to:

(a)set up a single EU portal dedicated to tangible and intangible cultural heritage, bringing together information from all the EU programmes funding cultural heritage and structured around three main aspects: a database of tangible and intangible cultural objects, including examples of best practices in preservation and promotion with all relevant references; funding opportunities for cultural heritage, as well as data on the state of European cultural heritage and data of importance with regard to conservation, such as, for instance, climate data and details of restoration projects already carried out; and news and links concerning cultural heritage-related policy developments, actions and events;” (p. 7)

Third, it supports the current task of the European Heritage Legal Forum (EHLF), one of the standing committees of the EHHF, in monitoring European legislation:

“21. Proposes that European legislative proposals should be complemented by an impact assessment regarding cultural heritage, and that where the assessment reveals a negative impact cultural heritage should be excluded from the scope of the legislative proposal as an exception;” (p. 9)

And finally, it supports the task of the Economic Taskforce, other standing committee of the EHHF, in formulating indicators for assessing the economic contribution of heritage in Europe:

“33. Draws attention to the need to improve the methodological framework in order to have better statistics related to the field of cultural heritage; calls on the Commission to propose a set of indicators that could be used for monitoring and evaluation of the situation of cultural heritage and that would be uniform for all Member States; underlines the need to obtain, to a greater extent, research findings covering all aspects of cultural heritage and to link them so as to counter fragmentation in this area; points in this connection to the potential of ‘big data’ as regards deriving more knowledge from research projects; stresses that in order to assess the actual and potential economic value of the cultural heritage it is essential to collect statistics more systematically;” (p. 10)

This text bears witness to the renewed engagement currently happening towards cultural heritage in Europe, which will soon culminate with the organisation of the European Year for Cultural Heritage, planned in 2018.

 

The official report is available here:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&refere...